Chehalis Flooding 1996 Sales Tax Refund Issue - 01-29-97

Copy of e-mail sent to Wa. Rep. Pennington, Hatfield and Senator Swecker

I was excited to see a short article in today's Centralia Chronicle about Tax relief for flood victims.

You were able to quote someone in your district spending $1,100 in sales taxes because of flood repairs.

Let me add to your kit of information. The Feb 96 flood consumed

We spent every cent and paid sales tax on everything. It was bad enough having to go through a major disaster, but it was like pouring salt in an open wound to have to borrow and spend 8% more just for sales tax!

In our case we are out over $6,000 in sales tax and part of our long term debt is now costing us 8+% interest on 8% sales tax. It really hurts.

I would hope you could educate Rep. Hans Dunshee that FEMA does not reimburse full cost replacement - every item was discounted for depreciation, even the new carpet and cabinets which were installed after the 1990 flood were depreciated - further, FEMA paying sales tax is simply adding to the cost of the flood! You and other tax payers are footing the bill for our flood damage and the sales tax we pay on it.

I am very dissapointed to find out that this bill (HB 1035) is not retroactive to 1996. I have been petitioning since early 1996 for just such relief. The 1996 flood was a major disaster and any of us who paid for things out of our own pocket or out of our future pocket book, are really hurting for relief.

I set up a www page on my flood issues. You might want to look in on it and see the details of trying to work through the government red tape or processes. It is not fun and it is not easy. It is very aggravating and depressing to be denied access to FEMA funds only because a local jurisdiction (Grays Harbor County) chose not to apply for funds. All this and more is contained on:

Thank you for your time and thank you for sponsoring the bill.

I hope you will consider making it retroactive.

"Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair."

-George Burns